With so many great shows gracing London’s airwaves every day, it can be difficult to know what to tune in to. But fear not, as we’ve put together a list of our top ten London sessions. You’ll find something to suit every taste and time of day, from funky breakfast beats to evening shows featuring the hottest tracks plucked straight from the bleeding-edge. Get listening.
If that’s piqued your curiosity, delve deeper and find out how radio came to rule London again. And don’t forget to take a look at eight pictures of London’s pirate radio scene in the ’80s.
A mid-morning, pre-lunch slot is tough to get right, what with a work-stressing, caffeine-buzzing and hangry audience. Thankfully, Jodeci Chin is a lovable, positive and always funny broadcaster, with great guests from the UK music world and that special quality to keep you laughing till lunchtime.
Tuesday 10am, weekly.
Here’s another take on the radio staple that is the breakfast show – this time from Peckham-based station Balamii. Aisha Zoe’s 9am show is a suitably dizzying way to start the day, as she keeps things low on chat but high on tunes that are in parts weird, wonderful and woozy.
Tuesday and Friday 9am, weekly.
Formerly a fixture on Rinse FM’s Saturday schedule, label owner and DJ Alexander Nut jumped ship recently and is now relaying his biblically soulful selections up the road at NTS. And what selections they are: anyone who loves a bit of jazz in their aural diet should get locked into Nut’s amazing explorations of the genre’s enormous influence.
Sunday 8pm, fortnightly.
Many people might just know Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy as the host of Classic Album Sundays (she hosts parties all over the city where Londoners gather to listen to legendary records). But we definitely recommend getting to know her better via her show on Gilles Peterson’s new-ish digital radio station. She’s got a monthly slot on the Stoke Newington-based station and uses her very choice vinyl collection – comprising soul, jazz, disco, psychedelic rock, funk and more – as a leaping off point for great tunes and great insights into those tunes.
Days and times vary, monthly.
His main job may be as one of The Horrors, but Tom Furse is also crafting a rather excellent side-hustle as a crate-digging musical nabob. His monthly shows mirror his recent compilations in mining music from the psychedelic fringes and forgotten corners of rock and exotica. Delve into the archive on Mixcloud for whole shows devoted to Italian composer Ennio Morricone or ’90s band Stereolab.
Monday noon, monthly.
You’ve got to have a bit of cockiness about you to name your show in honour of its selections – and their nanginess. But show host Ralph Hardy is always on the money with his tunes on Radar Radio. Not only does he bring an unbearably cool set of future bangers to air every week, he’s also a reliably silly host – prone to using the word ‘nang’ around 300 times a show and FaceTiming people for his NangGang segment.
Thursday 1pm, weekly.
One of NTS’s quintessential shows, this two-hour session hosted by London DJ Moxie positively beams out what’s hot in London’s dance music to the rest of the world on a bi-weekly basis. It’s the host’s expertise that makes it such a success: she’s properly embedded in London’s dance scene, her choices are on point, her passion is palpable and her knowledge makes the sometimes stale world of electronic music come to life.
Wednesday 3pm, fortnightly.
Despite being a hugely in-demand club DJ, Josey Rebelle has somehow managed to hold down her excellent radio show every Sunday for the past six years. Listeners who join her from 10am onwards are rewarded with a spiritually nourishing breakfast buffet that features everything from two-step soul to rare funk gems and a weight of mind-expanding house from past and present. Plus, like every breakfast companion worth their salt, Rebelle is just the most chipper person ever. It’s the best way to spend a Sunday – well, one of them anyway. See below for the other one...
Sunday 10am, weekly.
The other best way to spend a Sunday (see above), is by tuning in to this perfect double-whammy: Josey Rebelle is followed on air by Luke Howard and James Hillard from Horse Meat Disco – the Vauxhall club night that has held aloft the flame for raw unadulterated disco music for 14 years now. Tune in and hear why the show was handed the Best Radio Show award by DJ Mag last year.
Sunday 1pm, weekly.